Former Super Eagles defender Taribo West has revealed that he was a victim of slave contract for close to a decade of his football career.
Taribo was one of the guest speakers at Footballers Connect, an initiative aimed at bridging the gap between up and coming footballers, professionals and ex-internationals. said that he had no knowledge of his contract terms while joining Auxerre and later Inter Milan.
“I played in Auxerre for free, Taribo West said. I was playing uner a contract for five year without knowing the contents and conditions binding the contract.
The ex-Inter Milan and AC Milan trojan defender, stated emphatically that he never understood what he signed as it was in French Language, which sold him into slavery as a professional.
“My name was not in the first eleven squad yet I played all the team’s games earning as low as Five Thousand French Francs. I was not even listed in the second team. My teammates were driving exotic cars while I was riding bicycles to training.”
“The day I found out the details about my contract, I beat myself, kicking things inside the dressing, I was bitter. I thought I had learned my lessons but another slavery was ahead.
He mentioned that every footballer should ensure they are properly represented while signing professional contracts else they fall victim.
“After the third year, Arsenal, Juventus, Glasgow Rangers and Sevilla Betis came for me. I went to the coach starting that I wanted to leave but he sat me down and showed me my contract terms with Auxerre. I saw the details of what I had signed. Where my fellow defenders were earning as high as one hundred and twenty thousand, I was going home with three thousand. I wanted to set Auxerre on fire that day. Immediately I called my manager who was turning me left and right enjoying himself in Senegal.”
“One day I went to see my coach after training where I met a certain manager who told me about five clubs were interested in signing me up. On the table I saw Arsenal, Juventus, Glasgow Rangers, Sevilla Betis and Inter Milan. He began to make calls and Inter Milan was the destination, I signed the contract papers without knowing its content yet again.”
Taribo West further revealed that while he was working hard on the field of play with his story in the papers, his manager was smiling to the bank. He however urged young footballers to always seek professional help in their decision making process.